Love & Loss – Losing My Precious Mia

I painted my dog’s gravestone yesterday. I did not expect to be writing about this today when I shared my last message. In fact, we were so full of excitement and love as our foster puppy had a forever home that was passing all the tests and he’d be adopted after four weeks with us.

But on Wednesday night, our precious Mia, our 11 ½-year-old German Shepherd/Husky started crying in pain. It was so awful to hear that we gave her the pain medication we had and I made a bed beside her to comfort her during the night. She had been showing signs that her health was declining, especially this past year. But nothing prepared us for a 24-hour turn that ended up with her falling asleep so peacefully in our arms on Friday morning and then leaving us with the vet’s euthanasia.

For the past two days, I’ve been a mess. Feeling the highs of having a foster puppy in our home who has entertained us and brought so much love into our home, to having to call several mobile vet services to come to our home to help Mia find peace and comfort in her pain. It’s been excruciatingly hard and my world has shifted itself upside down when it felt like it was all falling into place.

Before Mia’s passing on Friday, we knew we wanted to bury her here, on our property in the country. I knew exactly where I wanted her to rest – under a beautiful Maple tree that had a clear view of the night sky too. We can see her grave from our deck and she will never be more than a glance away. It is the perfect spot.

As the vet administered the final dose that would stop her heart, my husband, my daughter and I hugged her, petted her and reassured her that we loved her so very much and that she was not alone. With our tears and gentle touches, she passed peacefully, half lying in the sun and in the shade, just the way she liked it.

Having in-home euthanasia meant we didn’t have to rush. When our 16 ½-year-old Husky Shepherd Tasha died in 2008, we were at the vet. It was so different. Bright, fluorescent lights. On a concrete floor. With strangers, in a back room. Crying intensely before having to say goodbye and leaving her behind. This time, on Friday, the vet left. We stayed with Mia, lying with her on our back deck. And we cried, and hugged her as much and as long as we wanted. We didn’t have to rush our grief, our sadness nor our tears. We could just be with her, together, alone, until we felt it was time to move her to her resting place.

My husband dug her grave with our Kubota in the perfect spot. Then he made a gravestone for her and we gently put her paw into the wet cement to cast her forever-paw-print.

Yesterday, after many more tears and a happy day bringing our foster, Blue, to his forever home, I painted her gravestone. Little did I know that she left us some hair, in her paw print, that we did not see yesterday.

As I painted her paw print and then her name, I was flooded with memories of the countless walks we took, the runs she enjoyed, the cuddles she openly gave. She was the one who guided and trained our two other pups when we got them. She was the mama bear to our pups and she was pack leader too – firm, helpful, supportive and loving too. She had a big heart and we’ll remember that most about her.

Dying and death are so hard. One moment life seems full, optimistic, calm. And then a loved one gets ill, we are caregivers, and we long for times when things were easier. Death brings another layer of grief and sadness that makes so many things seem so unimportant. It also brings to light what matters most.

Rest well, my dear Mia. I love you and miss you.

If this message has touched you, share your love/grief story with me. I’d love to hear.

I loved what one of my colleagues shared with me on Friday after her passing – “Your posts have brought a new awareness to the depth of love and the pain of loss to non-pet owners like me. Thank you for sharing your love story. My deepest condolences.”

We don’t have to share in the same loss to know the sadness and longing that someone may be feeling when they are grieving. If we have loved and we have lost, we are united in the depth of our sorrow. That grief unites us all. Click To Tweet

To my Canadian friends, Happy Canada Day!
To my American friends, Happy Independence Day!

Have a blessed week!

P.S. Summer of Organizing 2019 is open for registration! We started on Friday and it’s never too late to join! Here’s the link to register and start with us. Time to declutter and get organized for good! I look forward to having you in the program!

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